Water Temperature Affecting Hair Health

woman worried about tangled hair

Let’s face it: hair can be a bit of a fickle creature. One moment it’s perfectly healthy, gorgeous, and voluminous, and the next it’s dry, brittle, and isn’t being helped by any of your standard hair care products. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, the solution may be much simpler than you think. Though we often overlook it, the temperature of the water you’re showering with can have a huge impact on the health of your hair and scalp. 

That being said, there isn’t just one ideal shower temperature. Your perfect water temperature is affected by the type of hair you have, its needs, and your already-existing hair health. Let’s go over which temperatures may work best for you!

Hot Water

There’s a fair amount of debate surrounding one question: does hot water damage hair? Put simply, it’s possible, but it’s largely dependent on your hair type. Generally speaking, hot water works best for cleaning, opening up the pores, and allowing products like shampoo and conditioner to penetrate much further, allowing your hair and scalp to reap the full benefits of each product.

Woman is applying conditioner to her hair

However, certain hair types may not respond as well to hot water, with some even being harmed by it. Hot water is known to strip away the natural oils present in the hair and scalp in some instances, and without these natural oils, your scalp can become dry, itchy, and flaky, while your hair can become brittle and frizzy. In addition, if you have other skin conditions like eczema, they may be exacerbated by hot showers. 

As a result, hot showers are best for people with thick hair, as they’re more prone to having greasy hair. The hot water is perfect for getting rid of excess oils, but those with fine, less oily hair may not see the same benefits.

Cold Water

So, if hot water can cause damage, is cold water good for your hair? As with the alternative, it depends. Cold water has a much gentler impact on your body’s natural oils, so if you’re suffering from a dry, itchy scalp, lowering the water temperature will help you get the most out of your hair and scalp care routine. It’s also known to close the scalp’s pores, allowing the hair to trap moisture and retain its shine much easier than it would otherwise.

Woman applying shampoo to her hairs

However, washing hair with cold water can also have its drawbacks. As it improves the hair’s ability to retain moisture, it also leaves some people prone to having too much moisture in their hair. Those with thick, grease-prone hair will likely find that cold water makes their hair oilier and decreases its overall volume. As such, we recommend it much more for those who have fine hair or suffer from a dry scalp.

Lukewarm Water

First and foremost, what temperature is lukewarm? Though there’s a bit of debate surrounding it, most agree that lukewarm water is between 98 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. While it doesn’t hold as many of the benefits that come with cold water, it’s also free from many of hot water’s drawbacks. It’s much less likely to erode oils in your hair and scalp but is also effective in getting rid of dirt and grime, making it a solid middle ground for those who don’t want to use hot water but aren’t ready to make the switch to cold.

Woman is taking shower with warm water

Which Temperature is Best?

Simply put, there’s no single temperature that’s better than the others, with the ideal temperature changing from person to person. Take the benefits and drawbacks of each temperature into account as well as what you’re most comfortable with, then make the decision that works best for you.

More Products to Help

Once you’re showering at the right temperature for your hair, you’ll be able to use your hair products to their fullest potential. Naturally, the next step to promote hair health is to invest in quality products, and for that, we at NinthAvenue are here to help! 

Beautiful hair of woman

Whether you need conventional care products or want to step it up a notch with serums and hair masks, we have something for every hair type, so your needs are sure to be met! If you’d like to browse, feel free to visit our shop!

Back to Blog